In the United States, women make up less than a quarter of both produced playwrights and those directing productions.
As soft light filters through the nearest window, a woman sits upright in bed. Pulling on a raggedy pink terrycloth robe and house slippers, she slides past a curtain into the kitchen. After collecting the morning paper and milk from outside the apartment door, she sets a dented kettle on the stove to boil, sending a metallic clatter rings through the dead air.
If the American Dream were a paper lunch sack, Chautauqua Theater Company would try to unpack and explore such a bag’s contents at its second 2014 Brown Bag lecture at 12:15 p.m. today in Bratton Theater.
Veteran Broadway actor Lynda Gravatt approaches each play like a symphony. Throughout table reads, rehearsal and final production, all the players develop their instrumentation, intonation and togetherness. The final result is a melodious chorus.
When dreams have been deferred for long enough, you don’t want to waste any more time. The Youngers, the iconic family at the center of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, certainly don’t, even if they find themselves at loggerheads (with one another and with themselves) over which dream to finally pursue.
Chautauqua Theater Company is ready to present a gift to the Institution. The gift — the opening performance of CTC’s production of A Raisin in the Sun at 8 p.m. Saturday evening in Bratton Theater — takes a little ingenuity to imagine.
What happens to a dream deferred? Langston Hughes never directly answered the question in his classic poem “Harlem,” but Chautauqua Theater Company Resident Director Ethan McSweeny has done his best to explore the fate of these dreams in directing what he calls the “Dream Deferred Trilogy” at Chautauqua.
A Raisin in the Sun is an American story. A story about family, generational change, ambition — and racial discrimination. Chautauqua Theater Company’s production of Lorraine Hansberry’s play represents several firsts. It’s the first time a black female playwright will be produced in Bratton Theater. It’s also the first time that CTC’s conservatory features more than 50 percent non-white actors.
Ethan McSweeny doesn’t mind the quiet that blankets Chautauqua Institution’s grounds before the season begins. To him, the familiar pre-season hush suggests not much has changed since he last visited.
The Chautauqua Theater Company hopes to inspire dialogue about diversity as it kicks off the 2014 season with new work like The May Queen and classic work like A Raisin in the Sun.